Today is world kindness day! While we should always have kindness in mind when living with and training our dogs. Today offers a great opportunity to really think about how your dog might interpret kindness. Of course, none of us can really tell what our dogs are thinking but their body language can at least give is an insight as to how they are feeling. Let’s make them feel good.
Below are just 5 ways to show your dog kindness today.
🐾 Let your dog decide whether they want attention, an ear scratch or a butt scratch. Use the Pat, Pet, Pause routine to find out. Pat your leg, to invite your dog for some attention, if they’re interested in engaging with you, they will approach. Now pet your dog for the count of three and then Pause for three seconds, if they stay in place or nudge you, they’d probably like some more of that, please. Alternatively, they may reposition themselves with a different part of their body near your scratching hand, this may mean “I’d prefer to be scratched here, please”. If they walk away, then they’re saying no thank you, not right now.
🐾 At K9-Kind we’re always training with kindness in mind ™. There is no need to shout at your dog or jerk on their lead or do anything that causes them fear or intimidation. If you were to tell a human that they were doing a task wrong, you wouldn’t just keep shouting at them every time they got it wrong, you would probably explain what they should be doing instead and then tell them when they get it right. Let extend that courtesy to our dogs too. It’s much more ethical to set your dog up for success and let them know when they are doing something you like, rather than continually punishing them for doing something you don’t like.
🐾 Let you dog choose the route of their walk. It’s nice to give dogs choices, so much of their life is controlled by us that it’s nice to let them choose which way to go next. While you’re at it be sure to let your dog enjoy sniffing. While we take in the world primarily through our eyes a dog takes it in primarily through their nose. The purpose of a walk for you might be to get your heart rate up and burn some calories and while that’s great for you perhaps that’s not what your dog wants. Mental enrichment is as important as physical exercise.
🐾 Teach your dog a fun trick. Most dogs love a bit of training with their owner. It’s a great way to help you strengthen your bond with your dog and a fun way to spend time together. There are lots of great youtube videos out there to help show you how to teach fun tricks – checkout Kikopup on Youtube for inspiration using force-free methods.
🐾 Give your dog a bone. Seriously. They love them! A nice big bone will keep a dog occupied for ages, provides mental enrichment, an appropriate thing to chew on and will also help keep their teeth clean. It’s a win, win, win, win, win! In the interests of safety though, make sure it’s raw (cooked bones splinter and are dangerous) and an appropriate size.